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Can you Tweet your brand?

The optimal length for social media updates keeps getting shorter.  The top performing LinkedIn posts in the last month were 120 characters or less and all contained images or videos.  The optimum length for a blog headline has also shrunk down to just 6 words.  This post only used 5, as have all of my most read blogs.

As our attention span shrinks and our need for instance gratification increases brands need to develop easy to digest core messages that describe what they do and how they do it.

This exercise should be taken further than just the social media space.  In Talk Like TED it recommends that each business interaction and presentation be summarised in a less than 140 character, the length of a Tweet, in order to be memorable for the audience.

Can you capture what you do in less than 140 characters?

My headline on LinkedIn is:

Helping recruitment agencies to get the best from LinkedIn.

9 words.
59 characters with spaces.

If you can Tweet what you do then add it to your LinkedIn profile as a headline.  This will be added to every connection request, every InMail you send and be seen when people search for you or visit your profile.

Following most presentations I gave in 2013 and 2014 I checked Twitter to see if it had been mentioned (come on we all do it!) and time after time the same phrases was Tweeted and reTweeted:

The best recruiters act like marketers.

6 words.
39 characters with spaces.

The best recruiters act like marketers

Today the market has changed and people understand that recruitment is evolving.  Now I spend much of my time helping recruitment agencies that are trying to be more marketing focused to get the most from LinkedIn (as my headline would suggest) through media, marketing, branding, and communication.  I would sum up most of my conversations or presentations with the following Tweetable sound-bite:

How people see you will dictate your future success.

9 words.
52 characters with spaces.

What should your message be?  What do you want your candidates and clients to remember about you?  Make sure you can Tweet it.


Here is an infographic from Buffer with the optimal length of status updates across various social platforms.



Are we social media sheep?

Marketing is getting the right message to the right people.  In social media to get the message out to the right people we need to think about two elements: building our follower base, getting our followers to share our message.

The first; building your followers, focuses on building an organic reach.  This is an audience of individuals who have said, “Yes I am interested in what you have to say and I am an advocate.”

The second; getting followers to share, is often referred to as your earned reach.  You improve your reach as more connections of your followers see your message through social sharing.  The quality of your message will dictate your success.  This reach is potentially unlimited.  Viral marketing is based on this concept.  On LinkedIn roughly 33% of company status updates are seen from an earned audience – people who are not currently following that company but have seen it through their connections sharing, liking or commenting on that update.

The more followers you generate, the easier it is to gain even more followers.  And the more your content gets shared and distributed by your followers the more likely future shares are to occur.  The opposite is also true – if you post poor content and receive no interactions it is hard to suddenly generate engagement… but that is another story.

There are three psychological factors that are behind this concept:

1.    The Fear of Missing Out
Fear of missing out (or FOMO) is a form of social anxiety.  This is especially associated with modern technologies such as mobile phones and social networking services.

2.    Social Proof
Social proof is where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.

3.    Bandwagon Effect / Cultural Phenomenon
The bandwagon effect is where the rate of uptake of beliefs, ideas and trends increases the more that they have already been adopted by others.

The Fear of Missing Out
To make the most of the Fear of Missing Out you need to demonstrate why people should follow you.  Explain what it is you are doing to improve their life, and in recruitment marketing specifically, how are you influencing and improving someone’s career.  Are you opening them up to opportunities?  What might they miss out on if they don’t follow you?

Social Proof
If people assume the masses can’t be wrong then you can take advantage of this by generating high volumes of followers which in turn makes it easier to generate more followers still.  Getting yourself added to directories and lists of people to follow will serve as evidence that you are someone that others revere and are interested in.

Recently Facebook optimised videos in their news feed to take advantage of this.  You can now see how many people have watched videos, and as the numbers of views increase, this small design tweak will drive up still more video views and help content to go viral.

Facebook view counter

Bandwagon Effect / Cultural Phenomenon
You have a window to accelerate your success early on in social media.  Being the first to do something increases the likelihood of people wanting to be involved with your brand.  Everyone loves something new and exciting.  When Twitter and Facebook first launched people would follow everyone and everything, whereas today we are more selective as the initial novelty has worn off.

Have your competitors beaten you to the punch and have they all started using tools or platforms that you haven’t?  You have a window of opportunity to get in before it becomes harder to generate followers.

The first advertisement on Instagram was posted by Michael Kors, and as they were the pioneers they sparked such interest that in 18 hours they had acquired in excess of 34,000 new followers.  Being the first to market has its benefits!  Being too late to the party means that people may well already have made their allegiances and you may struggle to achieve success organically.

5:15 PM: Pampered in Paris #MKTimeless

A photo posted by Michael Kors (@michaelkors) on

With each of these elements there is an opportunity.  Start looking at your marketing strategy to establish how these psychological factors can improve your social media strategy.  The more you focus on the bandwagon effect, FOMO and social proof the easier it is to grow you organic reach and generate more followers as well as improve the likelihood of these individuals sharing your content.

Measuring social media is hard. But not impossible

Measuring social media is hard.  Extremely hard.  Everyone will tell you a new and different way that they quantify success.

The challenge becomes harder still when you try reporting these measures to recruitment directors who still struggle with digital communication in the 21st century.  Some of the fastest growing, best known and most successful recruitment businesses are run by people who years ago were recruitment consultants themselves.  As they move up the ranks and proceed to move further away from the coalface of recruitment and making cold calls they continue to look back on the process fondly.  Measures for these people are based on activity and direct outcomes.  How many calls did you make today?  How many jobs did you pick up?  How many CVs have you sent?  How many first interviews are arranged?  How many placements have you made?

When I was in recruitment I had a daily target called my “2x2x2”.  Two jobs picked up.  Two new candidates seen face to face.  Two interviews arranged.  If you did that; you would be successful.

Measuring social media is slightly different.  The outbound activity in social media doesn’t have to result in a business action directly through the same post, person or even channel.  The way in which we measure social and digital interactions impacts how companies buy and invest in solutions.  Only 36% of finance executives agree that the metrics they use to assess technology investments are commonly understood across the company according to Capgemini.

With my 2x2x2 KPIs, my output was being measured – and so too where the results that followed.  If the placements didn’t come it showed that something was falling down somewhere along the chain.  When thinking about social media there are so many potential business outcomes that feed into so many places and the impact can and affect many different people that it becomes harder to measure.  But not impossible.

The way I look at measuring social media is as follows:
Views – Actions – Business outcomes.views actions business

Views: How many people have seen us?

Views are the number of times that your content, updates or brand has been seen.  You can track this across most social channels.  In the last year Twitter has made substantial updates to its reporting platform to help advertisers and individuals better understand their reach.  On LinkedIn it is possible to track both the views from personal status updates as well as from company status updates.  From company updates you can see impressions, clicks, and interactions.  Facebook has a similar tool for Pages.

Actions: How many people have interacted with us?

Actions should include things such as social interactions – the number of clicks, Likes, Shares, Comments, Favourites and Retweets.  This helps you to understand if the message you push out resonates with your audience.  If you divide the actions by the number of impressions you can calculate a percentage of people interacting with you.  On LinkedIn and on Twitter we call these an Engagement Score and you should be aiming a score of 1%+.
Twitter analytics
Business Outcomes: How many people have given us something to start making money from?

Business outcomes are harder to measure on social.  This is where you require tracking set up on your own website to understand what visitors do when they get to your business and where they originally came from.

Using things such as UTM codes you are able to track people from social media, content, email, advertising etc. and understand how these individuals use your website and what they do.  By eventually linking back each application, job spec and internal applicant to the source of origin paints a picture as to what has been successful.
Google Analytics
As your business starts to drive up awareness across multiple channels and your marketing becomes more layered, intricate and possibly complicated it becomes harder to establish what has influenced the eventual conversion.  Was this candidate Following up on LinkedIn before clicking on a link from Twitter and then applying?

Many social media monitoring businesses such as Radian6 and Adobe’s insight tools are demonstrating how each platform and channel impacts your business’ marketing funnel.  Google has a section in its analytics called Attribution (you will need to have your Webmaster Tools and Analytics set up correctly to use this.  Find it under the Conversions tab).

attribution modelling
I highly recommend looking at the data in detail to see if you can spot trends, but also seeing what your gut feel is.  If you can sense that a channel is a key influencer then you can establish if your strategy helps to drive up applications across all channels.

From tomorrow start to report on the key metrics that you can influence as a marketer.  Look at the number of views, the actions and finally set up correct tracking to link business outcomes back to each channel.

5 Recruitment Trends for 2015

1. Expect Growth in the Recruitment Sector

Month on month the REC has seen more placements made through recruitment agencies.  This has resulted in an increase in turnover, and according to the latest figures from HSBC’s investor report, the recruitment industry is making nearly £10billion more than it was four years ago.  This trend is likely to continue well into 2015 and beyond with most European governments expecting an improved outlook on jobs and the economy.

The challenge is that the roles recruitment agencies are filling are increasingly the harder to work placements as employers are trying to “go direct” for the “easy” positions.  Scarce skills are becoming scarcer and there are less and less people available on the market (see report below).


2. Recruitment Revenue Will Go Up

As the margins in permanent recruitment continues to rise (by 5.7% between 2013 and today according to KMPG and REC) there is real potential for recruitment businesses to improve their turnover in 2015.  Salaries are also due to improve in 2015 which means even if margins remain stable total revenue should improve.

The challenge will remain finding the right people, having those people interested in talking to you and making placements.  Establishing a true unique selling point and truly understanding the value you deliver outside of just sending CVs is going to be crucial to maintaining the fees and margins that we are expecting.


3. Small Businesses Challenging Big Businesses

Across global, large and small recruitment firms huge effort is being put into developing a clear brand and concrete message to market.  Whilst many larger brands struggle to create relevant propositions for each of the industries or functions they recruit for, smaller businesses are taking full advantage of their expert status.  As businesses continue to focus on niche skills this will only become more commonplace.

The challenge will be to grow and diversify whilst still maintaining what has made your business successful in the past.


4. Serious Mergers and Acquisitions To Take Place

In 2011 the biggest purchase acquisition was for $770m when Randstad bought SFN Group (at the time the world’s 13th largest staffing firm).  In the past year we may not have seen acquisitions on that scale, but the number of purchases has shown confidence in the market and the perceived value of the recruitment sector increasing.

NES (who themselves were bought in 2012 for £234m) made two investments this year to cement their foothold in the Nordic oil and energy sector.  Allegis (the 32nd largest private business in the US) bought Talent2 to further strengthen its APAC offering.  Hays invested £28m for 80% of Veredus Corp to further develop their offering in NAMER in the IT recruitment space.

According to the 5th largest global recruitment firm Recruit Holdings’ President Masumi Minegishi, their business is likely to acquire in order to further develop their global presence.

“We are constantly eyeing deals globally and have more than 50 potential targets on our list,” says Minegishi in his latest interview with the Wall Street Journal.

With more large businesses looking to acquire in order to broaden their base expect to see a raft of moves for middle tier recruitment organisations.


5. Recruitment Firms Take Their Employer Brand Seriously

This week LinkedIn published a list of the top 25 most in demand skills of 2014.  Globally “recruiting” was the 15th most in demand skill.  In Brazil it was 2nd, Netherlands the 5th, the UAE 8th and UK 17th.  I have no doubt that this trend will continue as the industry sees more money pumped in from investors, through improved margins and profits in the sector.

The challenge will be to stand out from the crowd and to improve the brand of the recruitment industry as a whole.

Companies like Lawrence Harvey are doing a great job of this with collateral like their recent video.

Recruitment Trends 2015What are the top trends you see emerging in 2015?  Leave  a comment below…

ROI of a Telephone

Do you measure the return on investment of your telephone?  Probably not completely.  The return on investment from your phone won’t dictate if you renew your phone contract, although you do expect good service at a good rate.

Do you measure the cost of your people and establish how profitable they are? I should hope so.  The return on investment from your people will dictate if you keep them on and if you reach your financial goals or not.

Shouting down the phone

A telephone is just a tool to connect you with someone.  So why not send a letter?  Or just send more emails?  Why invest in a telephone too?  Because the potential in the telephone is huge.  You can communicate with people pretty much anywhere in the world and pass on whatever message you want.  You can instantly change tact if the message you are sending isn’t resonating.  There is a constant feedback loop to help steer the next message in that conversation.  But the success of a telephone really lies with the person dialing out.

Next time you think about the channels you market through assess if the way you are “dialing out” is good enough.  The success of marketing often lies with the person dialing out.

Are you a competitor to the competition?

You probably know who your competition are.  These will be businesses you are keeping a close watch on, possibly to emulate, but certainly organisations you want to beat.

Some competition you consider to be in front of you.  This you want to change.  Others behind you, but probably gaining.  This you want to remain.

Do the competition consider you a competitor?  It is time to worry when you aren’t on their list.

Do you have Thinkers or Doers in your marketing team? (The best have both)

Recruitment marketers tend to fall into one of these two categories: Thinkers or Doers.

What is a Thinker’s job?
These are your strategic people who outline the business’ vision as a marketing function.  They will either be leading the business, making decisions on what the direction the business should take, what it does and how it goes to market, or they will be distilling what the CEO’s vision is and translating it into a marketing strategy.

There are around 150 Marketing Directors in the UK working in the recruitment industry.  With around 12,000 recruitment agencies in the UK that makes a ratio of 80:1 agencies to marketing directors.

The average salary in London for a Marketing Director is between £60-150k with the average salary being £80k according to Michael Page.  This puts them in the top 20% of marketing professionals according to EMR.

What is a Doer’s job?
These are the people who get stuff done.  They will be the ones writing content for your website, doing email marketing, managing social media on a day to day basis.  They will implement the things set out by a Thinker.

There are around 1,500 people in the UK working in marketing in the recruitment space, so a ratio of 8:1 agencies to marketers.

Marketing executives and assistants in London earn between £23k and £40k with the average being £32k and £25k respectively according to Michael Page.

So what’s the problem?
The problem arises time and time again in recruitment when companies don’t hire enough people in marketing or they give Doers and Thinkers the wrong jobs.

Thinkers are paid too much be doing the day to day work within a marketing team.  Financial Directors and CEOs start to consider a Thinker expensive if they are working as a Doer.  And they get bored.  At this point they are either made redundant, fired or quit.

Doers tend to be junior.  It is unwise to expect them to come up with the complex strategies for your business or try to convince the board that their plan will work.  If you do, and your marketing doesn’t work these folks get it in the neck; but you can’t blame them.  They haven’t the experience to know better and they don’t have someone to direct them if you haven’t hired a Thinker to guide and mentor.

The solution…
Hire a Thinker in your organisation to be in charge of driving the strategy.  If you don’t have a big enough need for someone to continually focus on the high level stuff then rope in an expert on a contract or work with a marketing agency to put together your strategy.  Their plan needs to be actionable for the Doers in your business.  If you don’t hire a Thinker make sure the Doer in your business has a mentor who is a senior marketer in another organisation or that you invest in training and development for them.

Make sure you have Doers to implement the work your Thinker or your external consultant / marketing agency have done.  Again if you can only afford someone to look at the strategy then outsource your doing work to an agency.

“Your job is to hire the experts, give them the right direction and resources, and set the right priorities.”

The CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, on how to hire

Find the best people for your marketing team.  Hire the Doer or the Thinker or get both.  Don’t scrimp and expect one person to do both well.  Outsource which ever part you can’t get someone in-house for.


Footnote addition – 16th October 2014

According to Hays fewer than 15% of Marketing Directors regard their own digital skills as very good and 18% rate their team’s digital skills as at that of a high standard.  34% say there are skills gaps within their marketing team.  Unrealistic or over ambitious company objectives are another major professional challenge.

The 5 stories every business should tell

It was a great pleasure to be on stage at Social RecruitIn with Eamon Collins, Group Marketing Director for Page Group, and Paul Farrer, Founder and Chairman of Aspire presenting on how to build an engaging digital strategy.


Before we could write we told stories.

Oral tradition – or the original stories – was how we passed on messages, shared experiences, educated future generations and created what would one day become known as history.  In illiterate communities around the world there still remains a strong oral tradition where the elders educate youths through stories.

Old relaxed man, looking through glasses, Varanasi Benares India

In his research paper historical psychologist Dr Hodge states that “storytelling typically [took] place in a relaxed and nonthreatening environment. Customarily, the setting [was] a quiet place where everyone [could] comfortably sit.”

Today people today listen, read and watch stories everywhere: in their homes, their offices or their local Starbucks.  Stories are weaved through everything we do, and we tell stories to everyone we meet.   What we tell, and how we tell these stories defines us.

Who would you want to sit next to at a dinner party?  Who would you make your best-man?  Who would you call when you are bored?  The person who tells the best stories.

Even looking back at the word “Story” tells us something…

The entomology of the word History comes from the Greek “histor” for “learned wise man” and then evolved into “historia” which meant “narrative”.  Later through Latin it became the word we use today: “history”.   The origins of the word “Story” come from Middle English where it was used to denote “a historical account”.

The number one reason for telling stories is that they have the ability to be remembered.

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Rudyard Kipling

Stories last. 

Long after we have forgotten the data points, the slides, the general content, we still remember the stories.  In fact people interviewed after presentations almost always remember the stories and only one or two pieces of data.

Before we could write, we drew pictures.

We found that drawing the message helped to make it memorable, and we could save that content for longer.  Aboriginal art is some of the earliest forms of storytelling in art.

aboriginal art work
Our minds are pretty simple and we still react more positively to images than we do to the written word.  They say a picture says a thousand words – well it can.

The way we use stories and images allow us to drive people to action.   In her book Resonate, LinkedIn Influencer Nancy Duarte talks about this at length.   If your story resonates with your audience you will get them to do something.   Like waves on an ocean you can make the listener go up, or go down, backwards, or forwards.


Most importantly we help other to tell our stories for us.  Social media has made the sharing and passing on of stories easier than ever.  In exactly the same way people had stories to share their message, their values and their visions – today businesses have stories to tell.   The stories we tell as businesses dictate how much we sell, the loyalty of our customers and the growth we experience over time.


To make it easy I’ve come up with 5 stories that we should all be able to tell – as individuals, but also as businesses.

  • Who am I?
  • Why am I here?
  • My mission
  • What I do
  • What that means for you

Who am I?

This should be an introduction to you or your business.  It is essential that it is easy to tell across multiple channels and be as relevant on the homepage of your website, your LinkedIn company page as it is being told over the phone by your recruiter.  Every person in your business needs to know this inside out.

Why am I here?

What is the purpose of this conversation or this content that you are making me read?  What are you trying to achieve?  Be up front about the objective.

My Mission.

Explain what you / your business stands for.  This is your values and your mission statement as well as your motivations.

What I do.

Your mission should be more “why” and this is more “how”.   Find your USP – your unique selling proposition and explain it to your audience.

My colleague Eelco recently said that we should no long use the term USP.   Instead we should discuss the UBR – the unique buying reason; the reason that people buy instead of the reason we sell.

What that means for you.

Complete the circle and give case studies and testimonials.  It is essential that you have success stories that demonstrate how you have achieved your mission through what you do.

The Five Stories

In practice how can we do this?
Imagine that each of these stories moves your audience from a place where they don’t know you to a place where they are ready to do business with you.  Take them on this journey through the stories you tell.

the five stories

To give you an example of how I’ve used this in the past, here is how I raised money when running a marathon earlier this year…

Meet Seb.  He is trapped behind a lamp post.  The first story I told was about being a dad… now I know that everyone who knows me knows that I am a dad, however sometimes people need a reminder.  I wanted to increase the likelihood of people seeing my future updates and engaging with them and we know that engagement today – a like or a comment – reduced the friction for future engagement.  Facebook has a system called Edgerank which means that if I generate interactions from my posts my other posts are more likely to come up in my friends’ feeds in the future.


I then sent out an email (click here for the full email) explaining that my son, from the previous picture, had a favorite film: the Jungle Book.  When the book was written there were over 10 million elephants word-wide.  Today there are around 600,000.  I was going to run a marathon to raise money so that my son could grow up in a world with elephants and so could his kids.

Then I shared my charity Just Giving page that cemented the “Why” with more information on poachers and a few videos from the BBC talking about poachers.

just giving
How was I going to do this?  By running.  So I updated all of my profile pictures across social media to a picture of me running a half marathon for charity the previous year and shared these images across the net.

Then I closed the loop by explaining how this would help.  I then told a story about Raj, a 70 year old blind elephant I met in an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka which was funded by charities like the one that I was running for.

At each step I told a story that made it personal, that could be related to and that would resonate.

This campaign – and do consider this to be a campaign – helped me to raise over £3,000 for charity without having to beg and pester.  I was able to take people from not being aware of my aim, to a point where they would happily donate to a charity I cared about.

Every business should know the stories they want to tell and how they want to tell them.  Look at your business and establish how you can use these to your advantage.

Watch the video here…

Below are the slides from the presentation that I gave…

Recruiting like an analyst

Listening to a financial analyst talk about investors’ interest in TAM made me think that recruiters need to act like analysts.

TAM stands for Total Addressable Market.  This is a measure to understand the market share you have and how much potential there is for your current service or product offering.  Investors want to guarantee returns and will invest if you aren’t already selling everything you have to everyone who is interested.

In recruitment I would look at TAM in the opposite way.  The bigger your market share of candidates the better opportunity you have of placing the right people.  Investors will also want to know how much potential for growth there is in the TAM for clients.

These figures should interest four types of people:
Your clients
Clients want to know how many people you have on your database, within your network and in your talent-pools that you can call upon.

Your candidates
Candidates want to know that you understand them, their market and that you have the best connections with the clients in that sector.

Prospective consultants
Demonstrating a good share of the TAM is today’s equivalent of the “warm desk”.  Quantifying that you have the biggest talent pool of Xyz professionals in your geographies is a great way to get people to want to work for you.

Investors / buyers
As the economy bounces back more and more acquisitions of recruitment companies are taking place across Europe.  Recruitment businesses get bought and sold based on the value of their people, their network, their contractor book, but also their market penetration and ability to connect scarce skills with client opportunities.


By quantifying your market you can begin to structure how you sell and what you spend your time doing.  In markets where jobs are slim, but there are a lot of supply of candidates obviously you would re-adress your recruitment activities to focus on finding jobs.

Supply and Demand of talent

On the flip side where the balance is skewed the other way you would focus your time on growing your network and talent pools of scarce skills.

Supply and Demand of Talent

Quantifying your market place helps you to better negotiate recruitment fees.  Knowing how many ideal candidates there are means you can quote fees that you know your efforts are worth.  In scarce skills markets it is a seller’s market.  With quantifiable data you can qualify your demand as opposed to plucking numbers out of the air.

To help you understand some of your markets and quantify the talent landscape you will need to do some real research, so I recommend starting by using these resources:

LinkedIn Talent Pool Analysis


Once you have collated the data regarding your target audience you can analyse some of the following things:
  1. How many contacts in your database are within this market?
  2. How many contacts in your database within this market have been contacted in the last 6 months?
  3. How many recruiters do you have working on that market and how many calls/emails are they sending daily?
  4. What is your website traffic from affiliated search terms or to specific pages on your website?
  5. How many connections do they have on LinkedIn who are relevant?
  6. How many Followers on LinkedIn does your company have that are relevant?

These six data points will start to paint a picture as to how much of your TAM you actually have.

Your total addressable market

Your market share in this instance is 0.5%

Knowing that some of the people connected to your employees on LinkedIn, Followers of your business and on your database will be the same it is important to establish a communication strategy across these channels.

In addition to this it is essential to make a plan to increase the percentage of your TAM over time.  This may mean finding a way of getting more hits to your website through producing more content, sponsoring content, focusing on search engine optimisation or Google Ad Words, getting more Followers on LinkedIn through targeted advertising campaigns or getting your recruiters to connect with more people.


How do you get better penetration of your relevant TAM?

Whatever your tactics are to grow your penetration – SEO, PPC, advertising, etc. – you need to follow these three steps to make sure that you are making the most of your activities.

“Fish where the fish are”.
Understand the places where these people are hanging out online.  This sounds basic but it is so often forgotten.  Don’t think what would be easiest or best for you, think what is best for your target audience.

Give them something they want.
Once you have found these people you need to be able to communicate in a way that means something to them.  Establish the type of information you can produce or share to pique their interest.  Embed your business’ message and core values into the content that you produce so that your audience is building up a preference for your recruitment agency in their mind.  Reach outside of your existing network by advertising or sponsoring content.

Make them convert.
You have found where these people are, you’ve given them something and made them aware and interested in you… now you need to make it count!  Convert them.  Unless you can get their details all you have are ethereal visitors.  Profiles, contact details and CVs are what we are aiming for.  If you are trying to convert passive people then don’t expect a CV in the first instance, but do create a list of acceptable outcomes that you would want to happen.  This list might include things like: obtain email address, phone number, make a Follower with a view to converting them at a later stage, sign up to email newsletter, job application, registration, etc.  Once you have your new Followers, connections or your database has grown you can reassess your TAM again.  This should be an ongoing process and done again at regular intervals.


Knowledge is power.  Understanding your total addressable market gives you the power and confidence to better advise your clients, establish how you should be charging and take stock of your current ability to make placements.  Analyse what you have and what you need to be better at what you want to do.

For some more ideas watch this video: Moneyball for Talent Acquisition, from LinkedIn’s James Raybould and Will Hamlin.

Being 1 in a Million

When I was growing up a million was a massive number.  Working in social media meant that a million suddenly got really small.

829 million people visited Facebook a day in June 2014.  500 million Tweets are sent daily.  LinkedIn has over 313 million members.  6 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube each month.

That means that if you want to be 1 in a million on Facebook there are going to be 829 other people just like you.

If you send a 1 in a million Tweet there are 500 others just as good every day.

If are a one in a million graduate applying to a job on LinkedIn then there are 39 other applicants equally as qualified as you.

Average doesn’t cut it.  Above average doesn’t cut it.  Being awesome isn’t something you aspire to be – you have to be awesome in everything you do, or risk being forgotten.

One in a Million

Spend more time in less places.  Focus on being awesome where it counts.  Stand out or stand down.



Here are a few other social media statistics


  • 654 million mobile daily active users on average in June 2014
  • 1.32 billion monthly active users as of June 30, 2014
  • 1.07 billion mobile monthly active users as of June 30, 2014


  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
  • 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute


  • 271 million monthly active users
  • Vine: More than 40 million users


  • LinkedIn members did over 5.7 billion professionally-oriented searches on the platform in 2012.
  • More than 3 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages
  • There are more than 1.5 million unique publishers actively using the LinkedIn Share button on their sites to send content into the LinkedIn platform.
  • LinkedIn members are sharing insights and knowledge in more than 2.1 million LinkedIn Groups.
  • LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 313 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
  • There are over 39 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn. They are LinkedIn’s fastest-growing demographic.


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